This resource outlines the feedback from the ‘Regional groups and National network as a learning resource’ workshop at the Celebrating the Relationship of an IV Conference 2019.

In the workshop we asked NIVN members to share their ideas on solutions and learning resources for the following areas:

  • Out of area matching
  • 18+ schemes
  • Under-represented groups
  • Volunteer recruitment

Out of area matching

Solutions identified:

  • Giving older young people the opportunity to meet their IV ‘half way’ if there is a distance to travel.
  • Use targeted advertising to support out of area matching – e.g. advertise the role in the area the child is based.
  • Using different methods of communicating, such as skype and phone calls.
  • The NIVN should network create a procedure for out of area matches and contracts.
  • As the child or young person gets older they may want to

    meet up less, and this will require less commitment.

  • Have an incentive for the child or young person and IV to get to know the new area, as they may not know what is available to do there.

18+ Schemes

The National Independent Visitor Data Report 2019 identified that the number of 18+ young people accessing an IV service has increased but it is unclear whether these are continuation matches or new matches. The workshop discussion highlighted:

  • The power of legislation-a need for reform of legislation and guidance.
  • Life skills are not always being taught/gained, so could the IV incorporate this without it feeling ‘target’ based.
  • The need to evidence the impact of over 18+ schemes, to allow for targeted campaigning.

Under-represented groups

During the workshop there was little feedback on what could be done to create solutions and learning resources for under presented groups who include; disabled children, BAME children, children at risk of CSE and criminal exploitation and asylum-seeking children.

Volunteer recruitment

The National Independent Visitor Data Report 2019 highlighted that male and BAME volunteers are under-represented. Solutions shared by NIVN members at the workshop included:

  • Working with community based organisations to recruit under-represented volunteers.
  • Advertising in places where under-represented groups may ‘hang out’.
  • Using targeted recruitment, such as:
  • Advertising in magazines aimed at these groups
  • Advertising in barber shops to recruit male volunteers
  • Reaching out to BAME communities via churches, mosques etc.



  1. National Standards for the Provision of Independent Visitor Services 2016
  2. National Independent Visitors Network: Celebrating the Relationship of an IV Conference (Oct 2019)
  3. The National Independent Visitor Data Report 2019

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